Robert Southey was a figure of major importance on the literary and political scene from the 1790s to his death in 1843. He lived through the French Revolution, the Napoleonic wars, the dawn of the industrial age, and the coronation of Queen Victoria. He was the contemporary and friend of Coleridge and Wordsworth, admired and vilified by Byron and Hazlitt, and became the foremost man of letters of his day. Yet his reputation over the years has been eclipsed by that of his better-known peers. This new biography tells the fascinating story of a complex and contradictory man, the mirror of his age, and sets him centre-stage to provide a new perspective on familiar events and figures of the Romantic period.